Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Mini Asparagus Tarts

months ago, brandon and i got dinner from a local csa/organic/vegetarian place (i don't know how else to describe it). all of the meals they make fit the criteria above, and can be purchased in advance for take away. while it was one of the most expensive meals we've ever had (and truthfully didn't enjoy all that we ordered), there were a few gems that i wanted to recreate for my tasting pleasure. one of those tongue delights was an asparagus tart. their tart was quite large (a serving was about the slice of a piece of pizza) which isn't accommodating for someone trying to watch their portions.

a "traditional" asparagus tart is made with pastry puff (or is it puff pastry?) and gruyere cheese. i didn't want to use either of these because i wanted to make something that was super simple with ingredients that anyone could easily find. most importantly, i needed the recipe to be diet friendly! i ended up with mini asparagus tarts that weren't just easy to make, but they got rave reviews from everyone at a 4th of july party last week. can't beat that!

Mini Asparagus Tarts
Servings: 24
Weight Watchers Points+: 1 point per tart!

- 1 can reduced fat crescent rolls
- 6 servings of babybel light cheese (6 of the little round cheeses)
- asparagus, washed and cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper

first things first: spray mini muffin/cupcake tins with non-stick baking spray and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. once you've done that....

pop open your can of crescent rolls, and unravel the pieces. one pre-cut piece in the can is enough to fill 3 mini muffin/cupcake spots. do not stress if you think there isn't enough crescent roll within one tin by using only 1/3 of the original piece - the crescent rolls expand and you will have more than enough for your tarts if you use 1/3 of the piece for each tart base (i promise)! line all of the muffin tins with a small layer of crescent roll, pat down so you have almost a crust at the bottom of the tin.

once your tins are lined, get out your babybel cheese. you'll have to trust me on this one again, because you're going to use 1 cheese to fill 4 tins/tarts. it sounds hard and scary, but i promise, this works. the size of the babybel cheese is perfect for these mini tarts, so even if you don't get a full slice in, the cheese will melt nicely and fill the whole base of the tart. take each piece of cheese and slice the best you can into 4 pieces, putting 1 piece on top of each crescent roll base.

slices do not have to be perfect!

the perfect size! so cute.

when you have all of your tarts covered with cheese, place 2 pieces of asparagus onto each one. i like to put one asparagus top and one asparagus stalk onto each one for the sake of appearance (this way people know its asparagus and not some mystery vegetable, right?).

with all of the asparagus in place. dab your fingers into the olive oil and dab the olive oil onto the asparagus. you don't need much - a finger dab is enough. once dabbed with olive oil, sprinkle on the salt and pepper to your desire. i sprinkled the entire pan with both and everything turned out delicious, so don't worry if you go a little bit overboard with the seasoning ;) to save time, you could put your asparagus pieces into a ziplock bag, put the olive oil and salt & pepper in as well and give a good shake to coat everything before you put on your tarts. it's a matter of preference. i chose the first way to make sure i didn't over saturate my asparagus in oil. the choice is yours!

now, onto baking. place tarts in oven and bake for up to 20 minutes (depending on your oven). you won't need more than that, so i would check around the 13, 15 minute mark and see how things are going. when your tarts have risen, the cheese is melted and it has a little bit of a golden color around the edge, your tarts are done!

finished tarts

let cool, and then use a knife to gently scoop the tart out of the muffin/cupcake pan. plate as desired and enjoy!

cute little tart ready to be enjoyed on the 4th of july!

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